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I look at my watch, and back at the door in front of me. philasaurus was late. I check my phone again, and see an IRC message, "<philasaurus> playing lol"—why do all the good battlers play that game? I look at my contact list, and pick out the next best choice to interview.
Out of curiousity, why did you pick me?
You're someone I was interested in interviewing who was online. Also, Funkasaurus is busy.
So I'm not your first choice? I see now.
Philip makes a sour face, but then chuckles, dropping the act.
Alright, let's begin. As of the time of this interview, the standings declare your team #1. Thoughts? Your roster certainly doesn't stick out as "stacked" to me, with maybe some exceptions in the older gens.
Feels great! We put a lot of thought in our auction plans (credits mostly to the other managers there). I personally believe our roster is stacked based on the sheer fact that we have a lot of players who can comfortably play a lot of different tiers. That is incredibly helpful when it comes to testing and team building. The Sharks are always a top threat every season, and this season is no different.
Can you give some examples of these flexible users? We all know Stellar has had his tier changed quite a bit, but who are the others? 3K steal Kevin Garrett?
The door creaks open, and philasaurus steps in, and sets up his computer on a nearby desk. Thank god Zebraiken wasn't around. The familiar sounds of League of Legends fills the room, before his headphones get plugged in.
It's hard to pinpoint any one person, but based on past tournament results, Heist, Malekith, -Tsunami-, and Conflict all have proven they can succeed in pretty much any tier. Then you have our managers, who are also very capable in a lot of different tiers to help prep the team. It's not so much about who ends up playing in the end as it is how much we support each other in preparation.
Ah, alright. Going back to the beginning of SPL, what is your thought of the drama that happened prior to SPL—both the arguments on tier lineups, and the accusations of dynasties being formed?
Honestly, drama is in SPL's DNA. There's never going to be a drama-less season, be it before, during, or after. The fact is, every team wants to stack the odds in their favor, and managers will fight as hard as they can to make that happen. That's why we have impartial commissioners to objectively determine the best course of action. People will complain when things don't go their way, but that's a big part of what makes SPL so entertaining.
Do you find the dynasty aspect of SPL a positive thing, or do you think it makes it too similar to World Cup of Pokémon?
Philip's leg starts vibrating, and he quickly jumps up and pulls out his phone. He excuses himself for a couple of minutes, and I use that downtime to look at my notes and take a quick breather outside. Eventually he comes back and sits down, ready to continue.
Just to repeat—do you find the dynasty aspect of SPL a positive thing, or do you think it makes it too similar to World Cup of Pokémon?
I think dynasties are fine. It builds a sense of camaraderie in teams, as well as long lasting friendships. It makes the previous winners giants to overcome. You learn more about your teammates and work a good flow into the day-to-day training involved. If you look at professional sports teams it's the same thing.
And what about this season's tier lineup?
I think the tier lineup is fine. No matter what tier lineup you have, it will still be the same tournament. You'll still seek out the best players in those tiers and bid on them. The only change I would make would be to update Smogon's LC tier to level 10 so it's not so speed-tie oriented. But hey, Al_Alchemist is 4-0, so I'm not complaining!
Alright. Speaking of best players, was there anyone that you were going for during the auction that you couldn't get, and were there any people you got under the radar that you hoped/knew would cause upsets?
The one player I wish we got was Marshall.Law. I wanted to bid on him really badly, and we didn't end up doing it. Now look - he's 3-0, and the Ruiners got him for cheap! Other than that, the obvious steal we got this year was Al_Alchemist. Makiri had his eye on him from the start, and he sure knows how to pick em.
How are makiri and panamaxis, your fellow managers? Do you still wish you had MoP around?
Suddenly, I felt a chill down my spine, as if someone was watching me that I couldn't see.
MoP still lingers around like a pesky ghost. Makiri and panamaxis are incredible managers. They're definitely taking the lead this season, as I've been fairly busy with other things. Our managing staff is great, if I do say so myself.
Are there any teams that your team or you personally worry about facing, or are you convinced it's smooth sailing from here on out?
Suddenly, an unnamed person walks in, and Philip looks up at him and at his watch. The next thing I know, there's a full on battle in The Competitor's lobby. A couple minutes later, the battle ends, and Philip sits back down. I make a mental note to call the cleaning crew.
Sorry, had to play a match. Uh, it's never really smooth sailing in SPL. Any team can take out each other. Take this last week for example. We were the 1st place seed and Scooters were last. They started the week with 5-0, and we barely came back to tie it. Last season we went into the playoffs as the 1st place seed and lost in the first round. At this level of competitive play, it's anyone's game. That being said, the team that I think is the current biggest threat is the Ruiners. They are a force to be reckoned with.
As I quickly bring up the Alpha Ruiner's roster, one name sticks out.
Scared of Marshall.Law?
Philip's mouth creeps into a smile before he responds.
He's a good pal of mine. One of the best current DPP'ers in my opinion. But more than that, I think the combination of McMeghan, Bloo, Ojama, and CrashinBoomBang is pretty crazy. They definitely have a solid team, as well as players who are great in any tier.
Alright, cool! I think we're just about wrapping up here, unless you have something to say as we finish up, or want to answer some questions I didn't ask that you wanted me to?
The only thing left to say is...
Philip froze for a couple seconds there, just staring.
Haha, alright! Thanks for joining us, Phil!
Philip got up, picking up a handbag I hadn't previously noticed. On being questioned, he opened it up, and an uncountable amount of alumnized badges, as well as a two trophies, was contained in the bag. He walked out just as philasaurus threw some hot water on him, claiming it was "boiling lava."
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